La Bohème

In adapting the story of Puccini's opera, Comencini has created a cogent, perceptive, and often illuminating visual narrative. In the opening scenes, Mimi (Hendricks) overhears the boisterous bohemians in the attic above, and later, knowing Rodolfo (Canonici, sung by José Carreras) has been left alone, initiates a meeting by knocking on his door, pretending her candle has gone out. It makes sense, although the aura of twinkling lights that surrounds her during his passionate outpourings in 'Che gelida manina!' is unfortunate. But that is Comencini's only trespass into outright kitsch. Other variations on the storyline are perfectly acceptable: musicians of the Cafè Momus accompany Musetta (Blasi) in 'Quando me'n vo soletta'; the introduction of a silent, older admirer in the third act deftly explains Marcello's outrage; while Mimi's 'Addio' is beautifully observed. James Conlon conducts the Orchestre National de France with passion in his gut. Don't forget the tissues...

Release details

Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Luigi Comencini
Cast: Angela Maria Blasi
Richard Cowan
José Carreras
Luca Canonici
Michel Sénéchal
Barbara Hendricks
Francesco Ellera D'Artegna
Federico Davia
Gino Quilico
LiveReviews|0
1 person listening